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Embracing Technology in HR Industry for Defining Data Relevancy

By Naomi Cramer, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Banner Health And Sarah Keisling, Senior Director of Human Resources Technology, Banner Health

Naomi Cramer, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Banner Health

How do you see the benefits of cloud computing for the HR sector, and how have you embraced it?

Cloud : Benefits of the cloud certainly include faster access to features and more focus on new functionality with less time and resources spent on infrastructure maintenance and support. At Banner Health, we have embraced this technology in several areas within HR including On-boarding, Applicant Tracking, and Learning. As a result, we have a leaner HRIS team working on these platforms that are able to rapidly address new business needs in partnership with the vendors.

“Face to face time with your end users cannot only gain credibility, but can foster a lot of great ideas”

Data: Hospitality companies have lots of information but can’t use it effectively to drive business. Data is both difficult to access and needed by more applications. How do you examine the effective and proactive use of data—how to consolidate, integrate and use it to drive business? We aren’t immune to these challenges within HR at Banner Health. A key initiative for our HR Technology team is to expand our integrated data sets and leverage tools that allow cross-application reporting to help drive accountability and decision making. Historically, we have successfully produced one dimensional data sets, which allowed for focused reporting and the delivery of information for specific needs. Our new focus is to deliver more comprehensive, timely and valuable information in a dashboard format whenever possible in order to best support our customers. As we improve our tools and look to deliver multi-dimensional data sets we expect to deliver relevant, focused indicators that will help our customers better manage their business.

Innovation: What are some steps companies can take to foster innovation and/or growth? Also if you can share a few points on key technology areas that companies should focus on to follow the market evolution? Support and encourage creation of “what if our system could...” lists and ensure resources can be allocated to implementing items on that list. Many times we get caught up in implementing the key elements that existed in previous technologies or there is a perception that a current technology is lacking and we go look for something new. Take the time to allow your teams to identify great ideas and explore your current functionality before assuming you need to move to something new (and likely, more expensive). Visibility is critical in order to do this. Face to face time with your end users cannot only gain credibility, but can foster a lot of great ideas.

Integrated systems and making data relevant to the end user are two key areas to focus on going forward. As more data becomes available from multiple sources, there is a feeling in many companies that we are “data rich but information poor.” That feeling is only likely to increase as information flows faster, so there needs to be dedication to quieting the noise and identifying the truly meaningful data and metrics.

Sarah Keisling, Senior Director of Human Resources Technology, Banner Health

IoT: What does the internet of things mean for HR Industry? It will be interesting to see how the HR industry will be impacted and involved in the evolution of the Internet of Things. Additional access to data could bring new opportunities in wellness, electronic health records and personal management, but will continue to blur the lines between professional and personal relationships of employers and employees. HR may face specific challenges related to using the device and the data gathered as productive versus punitive. As an example, future devices may more readily illustrate when an employee is not complying with attendance policies or is smoking when they are paying non-smoker benefit rates. The challenge we will face is how to balance the perceived invasive or punitive elements with the many positive attributes gained from these technology advances.

Mobility: CHRO in the HR sector have seen the onslaught of both digital content and mobile devices and need to ensure their infrastructure is ready. What needs to be done in the area of infrastructure investment? There are two critical areas of focus in the area of infrastructure: Security and Data Usage/Relevance. Security must be a heavy focus as there will continue to be a significant growth in our ability to capture and deliver information via mobile devices. Particularly as a healthcare provider, we must balance data security and privacy requirements with the need for end user access and convenience, such as single sign on or broad system access. Infrastructures also must be established to partition data sets based on my multiple relationships with an organization (ex. I may be a Provider, a Patient, an Employee, and a minor’s Parent); keeping applicable data separate and distinct will be critical.

Finally, HR should play a significant role in defining data relevancy. As more data is available, HR will play a critical role in determining how that information is leveraged in an employer’s relationship with their employees. Ultimately, data should be used to improve company and individual performance while always complying with legal requirements and protecting the safety and privacy of employees.

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